A-Z of marques: No.18 Ferrari
Saturday 23 August 2003
The marque: First among supercars, usually red, always obvious
The history: Enzo Ferrari managed the Alfa Romeo racing team pre-war, but in 1947 he produced his own car, the 125S, with a 1.5-litre V12 engine by Gioachino Colombo. This engine would power most roadgoing Ferraris for the next 20 years, more than doubling its size along the way. It was soon joined by a larger V12 family which powered road cars and Grand Prix cars. Ferrari attracted the best drivers: Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins, among them. World championships were regular Ferrari benefits with Phil Hill and John Surtees in the 1960s. Ferrari's son and heir, Dino, died young. His name was on a late-1950s GP car, and on a smaller sports model which was Ferrari's first mid-engined road car. This line evolved into the 308 and 328 series, then the flawed 348, the sublime F355 and today's 360 Modena. The racing cars went mid-engined from the 1960s but larger road cars stayed front-engined until the Daytona ceased production in the early 1970s. After that, the big Ferraris had mid-mounted flat-12 engines until the 456 and 550, with new V12s, came along. Meanwhile Niki Lauda and, nowadays, Michael Schumacher kept world championships heading Ferrari's way. Enzo Ferrari died shortly after 1987's twin-turbo F40 supercar startled the world with its 480bhp. The F50 supercar, and now the Enzo, show the founder's spirit continues. Ferrari now owns Maserati too.
Defining model: 250 GTO. Front-mounted V12 engine, 1960s visual purity, string of race wins, total epitome of Ferrarism.
Enzo Ferrari said: Against everyone's advice, I wanted a 12-cylinder engine.
We say: Stubbornness was his salvation.
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